Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Charlie Memorial Tour

On Good Friday, after a lot of planning, a group of hardy souls from Huddersfield set off on the 'Charlie Memorial Tour' to sample the delights of Sheffield, around the pubs that Charlie was well known for visiting. With us, we took his photo that was displayed for a time at each venue, and halves were drunk in his honour.

Our first port of call, at opening time was the Hillsborough Hotel, reached by a tram ride from Meadowhall, for most of us at least, young Tim managed to get waylaid and missed the tram but by a bit of ingenuity and speedy walking had managed to catch up before we had downed the first half. The Hillsborough offered 5 beers from their own Crown brewery and a couple of guests and most chose the light, hoppy 'John Coltrane', continuing the Charlie theme and his love of jazz.

Next came the long walk to the Gardeners Rest, much revamped after the closure from the 2008 flooding and a pleasant airy pub. Here the beer of choice seemed to be Green Jack 'Orange Wheat' but on the bar were 4 Sheffield Brewery beers and some interesting guests from Graffiti and Beowolf to name but two.

A quick pit stop at the Riverside and a choice of White Rose beers was followed by the Harlequin. I have made no secret that this is my favourite Sheffield pub and again we were not let down. The beer range was interesting, and the staff were willing to do cellar runs for some of the other beers to come added to the variety. It was busy but not heaving and we settled here for a while to grab a sandwich and sample a few of the ales. I managed a Coastal beer which to my horror was hopped with green bullet and a Salamander offering but there was also Acorn and Glentworth beers on the bar if my memory is correct. The beer range here does not seem as inspired here since Hannah left but there is still a good variety to go at.

From here a short stroll to the Fat Cat. Here we split into 2 groups, some staying at the Cat and others trying the Kelham Island Tavern round the corner. Both pubs were very busy and noisy and trying to get a seat was not easy. Apart from 'London Calling' by Empire I cannot recall any other beers in The Fat Cat, as our splinter group moved on to sample the delights of the KIT. Beers from Yorkshire Dales, Sheffield and Keystone were the order of the day here, but I managed to select 3 dark beers not especially to my taste. My other half did manage a Thornbridge which was excellent and which I forgot to write down !!

The problem with the KIT was a group of loud lager drinkers, what makes lager drinkers drink in real ale pubs ??? So we left there is search of peace and quiet at the Wellington, (I still think of it as the Cask & Cutler), only to find the group of cretins from the KIT had beaten us there. We did manage to take over the back room and it was reasonably peaceful there. Here most of the group stuck to the Little Ale Cart beers brewed on the premises but there were offerings from Ludlow and Mighty Oak on the bar as well.

From here it was a quick tram back to the station and a visit to the Sheffield Tap. Another very busy pub but we managed to get served fairly quickly . There were 8 Thornbridge beers and between us all I think we sampled them all.

All in all a good day out and a fitting tribute for Charlie, who I am sure would have been impressed by our choice of pubs and hopefully the choice of beers available in them. We have already pencilled in next Good Friday for the return visit.


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